Play 5 - Connected but only plays through headphone jack - Advanced Electronics help required


Hi, I have a Play 5 from around 2013. Great speaker and has been reliably working for years until recently. I presumed it was some sort of software or wifi issue but it's not. The speaker looks like it is operating normally but will only play through the headphone jack.

Apparently this is a common problem and I presume it's a bad cap or mosfet etc somewhere.

Although I'm a fairly competent at board level repair, I don't have the skills to diagnose this.

Can any one give me some pointers on where to be looking on the board or even better, what parts normally go wrong?

I have the powerboard out and there is nothing obviously physically wrong.

Thanks.

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16 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I can't but there are a lot of topics here on self-repair. If the forum search is failing to find them for you try using one of the Internet search engines with the site:en.community.sonos.com option.
Thanks Stanley but no joy I'm afraid. I have seen people offering to repair this kind of issue so it must be a fairly easy fix. It's just knowing where to look or what components often fail causing this problem.I did find a fair few in depth repairs for the ZP120 but nothing for the Play 5.

I've often repaired electronics around the home by replacing caps etc but all from following someone that had already done it.

I really hate the thought of throwing away a £500 speaker for the sake of a £1 capacitor :(

Hopefully the right person sees this and can lend a hand.
There is a mechanical switch associated with the headphone jack. Inserting the headphone plug mutes the speaker. If I was repairing a unit incorporating this sort of switch and with your symptoms, my initial efforts would be centered on the mechanical properties of this switch. Note that SONOS offers an exchange service, but they will not accept any units that have been disassembled in the field.
That’s a good shout Buzz will check it out. Most of the repair places seem to mention the amp power that has packed up though.

I’d rather save the play 5 if I can. It’s not just about the money. £100 off or something isn’t it? For a speaker of this age if sent Sonos for part ex on a new one. I do like to repair rather than bin and replace.

P.S I won’t be repairing it in a field. Was planning to do it at my repair bench.
buzz's "in the field" mention was meant to say "outside of Sonos". Your repair bench would qualify as "in the field" in terms of any potential Sonos replacement offer.
Clearly my attempt at humour failed 🙂
Userlevel 6
Badge +15
Isn’t the “headphone jack” on the Play:5 an “in” instead of an “out”? So no mute switch?
Sorry. It went completely over my incomprehending head. (Edit: In my defense, it was pre-caffiene)

:)

And no, the headphone jack on a gen 1 PLAY:5 is an output. It was removed on the gen 2 PLAY:5.
japtastic,

As the Play: 5 (gen1) is out of warranty and you want to give the repair a go. I would simply open the box up and take a look. You maybe able to see what the issue is. However (and i know this is a bit obvious) before actually doing that, have you tried a factory reset?

YouTube has a few videos on teardown and fuse replacement/repairs etc. so that maybe worth a search / looksee.
buzz's "in the field" mention was meant to say "outside of Sonos". Your repair bench would qualify as "in the field" in terms of any potential Sonos replacement offer.

For someone who is concerned about the environment, an "In the field" repair would not be a bad choice. If the repair fails, simply leave the unit in the field for composting.
japtastic,

As the Play: 5 (gen1) is out of warranty and you want to give the repair a go. I would simply open the box up and take a look. You maybe able to see what the issue is. However (and i know this is a bit obvious) before actually doing that, have you tried a factory reset?

YouTube has a few videos on teardown and fuse replacement/repairs etc. so that maybe worth a search / looksee.


Yes, as mentioned, I have it apart and nothing looks obviously wrong. Checked with a microscope also. I did take a look at some of the videos but not really helping. There is obviously some knowledge out there but people are keeping it tight to their chest, which is fair enough, it may be their livelihood afterall. And yes, factory reset already tried.

Shame there isn't some schematics about and a Louis Rossman type chanell for repairing these things. I've previously saved some Macbook Air's following along with the help of far smarter people than me.

If I did attempt some some repairs in a field, do you think a little solar panel would power my soldering iron? 😉
Full disclosure, I have not been following the service adventures closely. Overall, the units are fairly reliable. That's one reason why there is a lack of service accounts. I don't know how well equipped you are, but you should be able to identify power supply components and make some voltage measurements. For other models most of the accounts center around power supply issues. I have one PLAY:5 that will emit some popcorn noise after half an hour or so of run time. Likely, this is a power amplifier issue, but I have not pursued this.

Why use a solar powered iron, use direct solar collection. With all of the recent heatwaves in the northern hemisphere a "sidewalk" repair might be possible.
Yes, I have found the rest of my system reliable. I'll see what I can find with the multimeter. I've been having a prod around but nothing seems obvious at the moment. Strangely, I got the speaker to work again but it does go very low volume every 5 mins or so, so obviously something is still wrong somewhere. Will keep it playing today to see what happens.



Replaced a few caps I had that matched the ones installed.

None of the transistors seem at fault/shorted but if this problem is now a bit intermittent there is a possibility that this fix is going become harder.
You've proven that the headphone switch is OK? I don't know if that switch is used as a full signal pass through or simply a logic level trigger. Yes, I'm hyper about those switches. While I haven't had any trouble with SONOS switches, I've had issues with other products use of those switches.

A favorite tool of mine is sometimes called a "spud". It's basically a plastic rod that allows one to poke, prod, and thump things. With modern equipment a slightly conductive tool and proper anti static technique is recommended. A close visual inspection and a little "thumping" can save hours of troubleshooting. One of my worst nightmares is when there is a bad connection (somewhere) and the thump temporarily "repairs" the connection for hours, days, or weeks. Of course, that bad connection could be inside a chip somewhere.

While it makes component replacement tedious, I like all of that hot melt because it keeps things from buzzing.

Is that white line and slight discoloration on the board simply a "hair" in the image or is there an issue?

Cheers Buzz, I'll have a spud around the board and see what I can find.

That line is just a bit of wayward glue!